Peaks and pitfalls of multilevel policy coordination: The South American Conference on Migration


  • Victoria Finn Leiden University; Universidad Diego Portales
  • Cristián Doña-Reveco University of Nebraska-Omaha



migration governance, migration management, multilevel policy, regional consultative processes, South America


Regional Consultative Processes (RCPs) have become a central component of migration governance; these are the loci of interstate migration policy discussions. Currently, 15 RCPs meet worldwide in every region, except the Caribbean, to form non-binding agreements and to coordinate migration policy approaches. Building on previous reports, migration governance literature, and existent thematic analyses specific to the region, we evaluate RCPs’ multilevel migration policy coordination by comparing national laws to regional topics and accords. We compare two decades of national legislation in all 12 South American countries to regional discussion at the South American Conference on Migration (SACM) since its first annual meeting in 2000. We find synergies and discrepancies between translating regional migration governance strategies from the RCP into national-level migration management. The SACM has reinforced the member states’ focus on regional integration and provided a space for dialogue to agree on approaches and best practices. Yet, countries have not uniformly incorporated these into national legislation. Our multilevel analysis reveals the complexities that RCPs face in overcoming regional-national discrepancies in immigration policy coordination.


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Author Biographies

Victoria Finn, Leiden University; Universidad Diego Portales

Victoria Finn researches migrant voting, (non)citizenship, and regional migration governance in South America. She holds a Master of Arts in International Affairs from the George Washington University and is a dual-PhD Candidate in Political Science at the Universidad Diego Portales, Chile, and in Humanities at Leiden University, the Netherlands. She is an Affiliated Researcher at the Instituto de Investigación en Ciencias Sociales (Institute of Research in Social Sciences) and elected Co-Convener for the ECPR Standing Group on Migration and Ethnicity. Her work has been published in Citizenship Studies, International Political Science Review, and Latin American Policy, among others.

Cristián Doña-Reveco, University of Nebraska-Omaha

Dr. Cristián Doña-Reveco is the Director of the Office for Latino/Latin American Studies (OLLAS) and Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He holds a PhD in Sociology and History from Michigan State University. He collaborates with the Instituto de Investigación en Ciencias Sociales at Universidad Diego Portales and is an Adjunct Researcher at the Center for the Study of Social Conflict and Cohesion (COES) in Chile. His research involves migration decisions, migration policy in South America, and the relations between the nation-state and its emigrants.




How to Cite

Finn, V., & Doña-Reveco, C. . (2021). Peaks and pitfalls of multilevel policy coordination: The South American Conference on Migration. Migration Letters, 18(4), 487–496.